I didn't find an existing topic more closely suited for my question, so here goes.
Attempting to free up enough space in my C:\ drive to create a dual-boot drive on my Windows 7 laptop so I
could install Windows 8.1, I ran Partition Wizard to consolidate free space by moving non-movable files
closer to the rest of the data files.
Partition Wizard (Free) increased the unallocated space from 118MB to 226GB, which gave me enough space to create
a 200 GB partition for Windows 8.1. However, all the partitions in the disk are now dynamic and will not
accept the Windows 8.1 operating system. I suspect Partition Wizard converted the simple disk into dynamic in
order to move the non-movable files.
EaseUS Partition Master (EUS-PM) has an option to convert a dynamic disk to simple, but it warns that some files
may be lost and the system may not start.
I have two system images of my 500 GB C: drive, one as a simple disk and another as a dynamic disk; as well as a
backup of my files and a repair disk I created when making the first (simple disk) image.
As I see it, one option is to go ahead and run EUS-PM. If files are lost or computer won't boot, I have
a backup and a boot disk to rely on. But for restoring the image, one concern I have is that my simple disk
image is well over 400 GB, including the empty space between the actual data and the non-movable files, but
my reduced C:\ partition is now only around 250 GB so I'm leary of attempting to restore a system image that
takes up over 400 GB of disk space because of non-movable files into a 250 GB partition.
Perhaps another option is to restore the dynamic image into the simple disk. But it seems to me I would end-up
with a dynamic disk again, back to square 1.
As a last resort, I could wipe the drive and restore the simple system image. But would that only place the
non-movable files back where they were to start with and leave me with just 118 MB of unallocated space again?
I do have installation software for Windows 7 and 8.1. Perhaps wiping the disk, partitioning, installing both
operating systems, then copying Windows 7 documents is the only possible solution?
Can anyone suggest another option?
HP Laptop, Windows 7, 500 GB; 2 TB External Drive